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(both: ātyĕn`), or, Latinized,


(stĕf`ənəs), family of Parisian and Genevan printers of the 16th and 17th cent., distinguished through five generations in scholarship as well as in their craft.

The first of the line was Henri Estienne, d. 1520, who was by 1502 established as a printer in Paris. Before his death more than 100 books, some of them of great typographic beauty, had issued from his press. His foreman, Simon de ColinesColines, Simon de
, d. 1546, Parisian printer. He was associated with the elder Henri Estienne and continued his work. Colines used elegant roman and italic types and a Greek type, with accents, that was superior to its predecessors.
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, succeeded him and married his widow.

Some years later, probably in 1526, Henri's son, Robert Estienne, b. 1498 or 1503, d. 1559, took over his father's shop, and Colines then founded a new establishment. Robert, a capable scholar, devoted himself to printing only scholarly works, many of which he himself edited. He put out editions of classical authors, dictionaries and lexicons, and, more especially, critical editions of the Bible. He enjoyed the favor of Francis I and became king's printer for Latin, Hebrew, and Greek. The printer's mark used by him, the Olive Tree, was apparently designed by Geofroy ToryTory, Geofroy
, c.1480–1533, Parisian printer, typographer, and author, b. Bourges. After study in Italy, he won distinction as a professor in Paris and became editor to the printer Henri Estienne.
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, who is said to have been a proofreader for the elder Estienne; some of the Estienne types were designed by Claude GaramondGaramond, Claude
, 1480–1561, Parisian designer and maker of printing types. According to tradition he learned his art from Geofroy Tory. Types designed by Garamond were used in the printeries of the Estienne family, Colines, Plantin, and Bodoni, and types used by the
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. Robert Estienne, a thorough humanist, upheld the cause of the Reformation.

Long-continued attacks upon him by the faculty of the Univ. of Paris and by political opponents of the king caused him to move to Geneva in 1550. He set up a press there and continued to print books until his death. His own Latin dictionary, Thesaurus linguae Latinae (1531), probably compiled with the aid of other scholars, is a monumental work. His grammatical treatises on French are also of great importance.

One of Robert's brothers, François Estienne, d. 1553, was of minor importance as a bookseller, but another brother, Charles Estienne, c.1504–1564, succeeded Robert in the management of the Paris establishment in 1551. Educated in medicine and skilled in classical learning, Charles wrote many works on medicine, agriculture, and other subjects. A number of his books were printed by his brother, Robert, and by his stepfather, Colines. Among his best-known works are an encyclopedia, one of the earliest appearing in France, a treatise on dissection, and Praedium rusticum, which appeared later in English editions.

The second Henri Estienne, 1531?–1598, the greatest scholar of the family, was one of Robert's sons. He inherited his father's press on the express condition that it should not be moved from Geneva. He was a well-trained scholar and devoted years to searching for manuscripts. Although humanism was far advanced, he, nevertheless, discovered numerous works of classical authors of which he issued first editions. His editions of Greek and Latin works are remarkable for their accuracy and textual criticism. The greatest monument to his scholarship is, perhaps, his Thesaurus Graecae linguae (1572).

Henri also championed the use of the French language and wrote valuable treatises on the French tongue and on French grammar; the most important is La Precellence du langage françois (1579), in spite of its gross errors in philology. His satirical Apologie pour Herodote (1566) brought him trouble with the Consistory of Geneva, and after the publication of Deux Dialogues du nouveau langage françois italianizé (1578) he went to France to escape censure in Geneva. He was imprisoned for a short time on his return and afterward became a wandering scholar. The books he printed did not equal those of his father in typographic beauty. He marks, however, the highest point of the family's career, although the Estiennes continued prominent as printers until late in the 17th cent.


See M. Pattison, The Estiennes (1949).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Etienne; latinized, Stephanus), a family of French printers and publishers who worked in Lyon, Paris, and Geneva between 1502 and 1660.

The founder of the Estienne firm was Henri I Estienne (born c. 1460; died 1520). The most prominent members of the firm were also outstanding philologists. Robert I Estienne (born 1503; died 1559) compiled and published the Thesaurus of the Latin Language (vols. 1–2, 1531) and Latin-French and French-Latin dictionaries. His son Henri II Estienne (born 1528 or 1531; died 1598) compiled the Thesaurus of the Greek Language (vols. 1–6, 1572–73) and published annotated editions of many works by Latin and Greek authors. The Estiennes published more than 1,-500 books, and they introduced the excellent Greek typefaces known as the grecs du roi.


Renouard, A. A. Annales de l’imprimerie des Estienne, 2nd ed. Paris, 1843.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Estienne is from Provence, southeastern France, but worked in Brittany, which is why his famous pastry is the kouign-amann (pronounced queen-ah-mahn), a wonder made of flour and butter.
A third sketch-like chapter examines the relationship of Colines to his stepson Robert Estienne. Although it is brief, it appeared in polished form in Book History in 2005 and convincingly changed scholarly opinion on the nature of the Estienne family dynamic.
Henri Estienne mastered Latin, Greek, and Italian and devoted a significant amount of work to translating, editing, publishing, and collating essential classical texts.
Ce sentiment d'opposition envers la pratique traductive est partage par l'un des humanistes les plus celebres en France, Henri Estienne, qui propose, lui aussi, le parallele entre traduction et trahison.
The originality of Estienne's text lies in its erudition, for the author drew on the command of the Greek and Latin languages that supported his famous dictionaries, along with a broad knowledge of other relevant works in the ancient philosophical tradition, to produce a preface for Seneca's learned readers.
The first half of the book devotes a chapter each to Lando, Estienne, and Munday, as well as a more general chapter on "Translation and the Business of Letters." Pizzorno convincingly links Lando to a skeptical Christian "Counter-Renaissance" with affiliations from Saint Paul and Cicero to Erasmus, Rabelais, and Montaigne: "Lando exalted ignorance, humbleness and folly, expressing a reformed Christian vocation guided by a belief in man's utter helplessness" (21).
Even the adaptation, by Brook stalwart Marie-Helene Estienne, feels elemental, compared to the more elegant Constance Garnett version.
Keywords: abstract art, Andre Breton, Charles Estienne, France, Georges Mathieu, surrealism, Michel Tapie
Mark Andy France has installed a six-color Scout in the print training department of one of France's oldest and well knownschools, Ecole Superieure Estienne des Arts et Industries Graphiques, in Paris.
It contains Charles Estienne's "De dissectione partium corporis," published in 1545, which would have been the first artistically illustrated anatomy book had its publication not been delayed more than 2 years by a legal dispute.